Day 3 Samaroli Spey 1996 – Blended Malt Glentauchers and Benriach | Blog # 92

Welcome to day 3. For the first time we get to use the Samaroli Whisky glass for a Samaroli whisky.

Samaroli have been around since 1968 (the year I was born). Silvano Samaroli at that time was the only visionary outside of the UK buying up large amounts of Scottish Whisky. Defying tradition and coming at Scotch from a uniquely Italian perspective Silvano filled the majority of his newly purchased whisky into new oak barrels. Scotch has traditionally been aged in either used American or European oak.

The reason for this departure from the norm was the endless search of the delicate complexity that Silvano saw as the pinnacle of why Scotch whisky is so incredible. Certainly this can be achieved using ex bourbon or sherry casks however it does seem to be the odd special cask rather than the norm that keeps the delicate fruits over a long period of time.

Samaroli never chill filter despite many of their whiskies dropping below 46%. The big heavy Italian wine bottles that are a hallmark of the Samaroli brand hide any potential clouding and takes away the possibility of “darker means older” perceptions.

Samaroli whiskies are the lightest in colour for older age statements that I have ever seen. Chalk this down to the use of lightly toasted new oak that leaves subtle and minimal impact on the whisky.

So whenever you are reaching for a bottle of Samaroli it really is time for a navel gazing, eyes closed contemplative think about what is in your glass.

For those that missed my little piece on blended malts please check it out here in blog #89 before going any further. Now that you have some context lets delve into today’s whisky.

Samaroli Spey 1996 – 19 Year Old Blended Malt – 3 single casks #’s 4234, 4235 & 4573. Speyside distilleries Glentauchers and Benriach bottled at 43% ABV.

Colour:     Unoaked Chardonnay – quite pale for 19 years.

Nose:     Wow fruits a plenty here, peach cobbler, pear and sweet ripe fuji apples.

Palate:     Light and creamy, whipped farm cream on fruit flan.

Finish:     A touch of meringue and whisps of cotton candy and swiss white chocolate. I would defy anyone to taste this and think it somewhat inferior to Single Malt or if you could even guess that it was a combination of malts from 2 different distilleries.

43 % is oh so soft and it is with their own conviction about achieving this delicate balance that drives Samaroli to bottle it at exactly the strength they are convinced hits the mark. Many have said they would love to see some Samaroli Cask strength versions. I will certainly put in a request however this is what Samaroli is all about bottling delicate and complex whisky their way.

I am unabashedly in love with what Samaroli bring to the world of Scotch Whisky.

Don’t get me wrong I love a big robust malt and as stated in many blogs before now I am an equal opportunity drinker when it comes to whisky/ey. I am however more impressed by layers of complex notes that require time and thought to get to the bottom of in any style of whisky. For me Samaroli has become a bit of a benchmark for the best of what Scotch whisky can be purely because they seem to be able to achieve this on a regular basis.

**My friend and fellow blogger Joshua Hatton is blogging side by side with me this year as our special guest. Be sure to check out his take on the Samaroli Spey Glentauchers/Benriach 19 year old blended malt.

The First Edition Calendar Whisky on this day last year was the Samaroli Spey 21 Year old Cragganmore Single Malt – 21yo Blog #35

For those that loved this Samaroli Spey 19 Year Old you can find one of only 30 bottles available at the following retailers:


Zyn The Wine Market


Wine and Beyond

Tomorrow time for our 4th Independent Bottler and a whisky that has created quite a stir around the Social media airwaves.

Looking forward to day 4.

Happy dramming!



  1. Scott says:

    On day two, after enjoying a wee taste of the Craigmills Sauterne, my once best friend knocked over my Samaroli glass with his tail. Too add insult, day three was a delicate, yet robustly flavourful Samoroli Spey that I had to enjoy out of a regular tumbler instead of my Samaroli. Any recommendation on where I could get a similar glass to use for the remainder of the advent calendar?

    • Jonathan Bray says:

      G’day Scott

      Tragedy strikes… Where are you based Alberta? We might be able to figure something out for you. Kitty is banned from all future dramming 🙂

      • Scott says:

        Hi Jonathan,

        I wish I could blame the cat, but it was ye ole faithful retriever that knocked it over. Sadly, I am not in Alberta and am based in Ontario. My wife went out of her way to get this advent calendar to me as it is not available here.

  2. Scott G. says:

    This little gem must be certain proof the blends have more fun. i get a brandied pear and chocolate taste. Very delicate mouth feel especially in comparison to the last two days.

    This is just a blast!!

  3. Linda Smith says:

    Hi all!
    I’ve had conversations regarding whether single malts are hyped beyond their value … and this blended whisky is proof that one needn’t be a single to be delicious. I think this is my favourite (certainly of the three) and I’m thinking I need to put this on my Christmas wish list. Yummy indeed. I’m so thankful for my husband’s generosity in giving this advent calendar to me — it’s great fun!

    Jonathan, your blog really adds to the experience, too — thanks very much. 🙂

    • Jonathan Bray says:

      Hi Linda so glad you are enjoying the experience and that my humble ravings are enhancing it all. Thanks so much for chiming into the community discussion this year.


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